The most wonderful time of the year is here! Start hanging your stockings by the chimney with care because Kris Kringle is coming to Columbia, SC. Stock up on candy canes and check out these festive highlights from Thanksgiving to New Years in The New Holiday Hot Spot.



holiday lights 
May your days be merry and bright! Sing along at a tree lighting ceremony in front of the South Carolina State House or spread the holiday cheer as you enjoy the displays of millions of sparkling lights throughout Columbia.
48th Annual Governor's Carolighting at South Carolina State House Monday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.; free admission
Holiday Lights on the River at Saluda Shoals Park Nov. 26 - Dec. 31 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.; Cars: $15; 15-Passenger Vans: $25; Buses: $40
Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Thursday - Sunday 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.; $10 Adults, $8 Children ages 2-12, & children younger than 2 free
Historic Holiday House Tours at Robert Mills House & Gardens Thursday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. & Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.; Adults $5, 16 & under free admission
2014 Candlelight Tour of Homes at 1314 Broad St, Camden Saturday, Dec. 6 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.; $15 Advanced Price, $20 Day of Tour


festive events
Bundle up in mittens and sweaters to keep Jack Frost from nipping at your nose as you sing along with carolers, ice skate in the middle of Main Street or take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Five Points. Don't forget to watch out for pesky hidden mistletoes!
61st Annual Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade at Gervais Street Saturday, Dec. 6 at 9:45 a.m.; free admission
Main Street Ice at Boyd Plaza Nov. 27 - Jan. 2 Every Monday - Thursday from 4 - 9 p.m., Friday from 4 - 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Sunday 1 - 9 p.m.; $10 for adults; $8 for children (age 12 and younger); $8 for active duty military and seniors (55+)
A Starry Night at Five Points Thursday, Dec. 4 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.; free admission
A Devine Night Out on Devine Street Thursday, Dec. 11 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.; free admission
Snowville at EdVenture Children's Museum Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. & Sunday noon - 5 p.m.; $11.50
Santa's Gingerbread Jamboree at EdVenture Children's Museum Every Saturday in December 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; $18/person


carols and shows
Take a break from decorating cookies and wrapping presents to enjoy these Christmas classics that will have you dreaming of sugarplum fairies and wintry wonderlands.
Columbia City Ballet's Nutcracker at Koger Center for the Arts Saturday, Dec. 13 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. & Sunday, Dec. 14 3 p.m.; $42, $30, $15
Carolina Ballet's "The Nutcracker Ballet" at Township Auditorium Wednesday, Nov. 26 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 28 7:30 p.m. & Sunday, Nov. 30 3 p.m.; $12.50 - $20.50
Irving Berlin's White Christmas at Town Theatre Nov. 14 - Dec. 2 Every Thursday- Saturday 8 p.m. & Sunday 3 p.m.; Adults - $25, Senior/College/Military - $20, Youth (17 and under) - $15


santa's workshop 
Be Santa's Little Helper and snag unique presents for all of your loved ones whether they were naughty or nice. These one-of-a-kind craft shows will give you plenty of gifts to stuff in your stockings.

Sustainable Holiday Celebration at 701 Whaley Monday, Dec. 1 4:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.; $5 donation
Crafty Feast at Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center Sunday, Dec. 14 noon - 6 p.m.; $2 general admission, free for kids 10 and under

New Year's



Ring in 2015 at the largest (and free!) New Year's Eve bash in South Carolina, where you can rock out to The O'Jays with opening acts MisterWives and Lefty at the Washout then enjoy the most colossal New Year's fireworks display in the Carolinas. And don't forget about the family-friendly ways to celebrate New Years!
Famously Hot New Year 2015 at Downtown Columbia Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 6:30 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.; free admission
New Year's Eve at Noon at EdVenture Children's Museum Thursday, Jan. 1 at 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.; $11.50
City of Columbia's Wow! New Year's Eve Carnival at Main Street Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.; free admission

Find holiday events on our calendar & listings of attractionsoutdoor things to dorestaurants and more. Looking to stay a while? Book your hotel room online.